Connect with us

NC State Football

DEEP STATS: Is NC State’s insane 3rd down efficiency numbers fueling their undefeated season?



Coming into the season it was common knowledge that NC State’s offense was going to be good.

With starting QB Ryan Finley returning for his senior campaign and a stable of WRs that could rival any team in the country, it’s no surprise that through 6 weeks the Wolfpack is leading the conference in passing yards. That’s great and all, but did you know the Pack is ranked #1 in the entire nation in 3rd down conversion %.

Now, there is a lot that goes into having successful 3rd down conversion rates such as the average yardage you’re gaining on 1st and 2nd downs, the playcalling and obviously your personnel.

With the stoic Ryan Finley behind center, a quality offensive coordinator in Coach Drink, and a plethora of weapons at the skill positions, NC State has both options and experience. Those two things usually will lead to high offensive conversion rates, and high conversion rates usually equal long drives and a high ‘time of possession’ average.

Taking a look at ‘time of possession’ numbers you see (as expected) NC State sitting at #7 in the nation.

So, NC State is converting on 3rd down, which is leading to extended drives. Extended drives are spiking their ‘time of possession’ and those high ‘time of possession’ numbers are helping them dictate the pace, keep their defense fresh and thus rack up the wins.

Speaking of keeping the defense fresh, them being on the sidelines so long seems to be paying off.

In fact, when looking at 3rd downs, the NC State defense is holding teams to a conversion rate of 33%. That ranks 33rd in the nation. And remember, offensively they are converting a nation-leading 60.9% of their 3rd downs.

That means their 3rd down conversion rate margin is an insane 28%.

Looking at last season for comparison, the Pack converted on only 45% of their 3rd downs and allowed their opponents to convert on 42% of theirs. That gave them a margin of only 3%.

So to summarize:
2017 3rd down conversion margin: 3%
2018 3rd down conversion margin: 28%

That’ a pretty massive difference and that 28% is looking pretty darn high, so we tried to see where that number ranked nationally. While we weren’t able to track that down, we did find the ‘3rd AND 4th down conversion rate margin’ rankings, and as expected NC State is right up there at #3 in the nation.

Of all the stats that NC State is putting up right now, it’s hard to believe any have been as important to their current success as this grouping. When you factor in the fact that the Pack’s ground game has been decent at best, this really says a lot about the poise and focus of Ryan Finley and the grittiness and hunger of this defense.

NC State Football

NC State Currently Ranks 5th in the Directors’ Cup After Soccer Season



NC State has moved up to #5 in the current 2018-19 Fall Directors’ Cup standings at the conclusion of Soccer season.

The Wolfpack has finished ranked in the Top-25 in each of the 4 sports that have wrapped up thus far this Fall (Men’s & Women’s Cross Country & Men’s & Women’s Soccer).

The Wolfpack Women’s Cross Country team won their 3rd straight ACC Championship (24th overall), and the Men’s team finished 3rd. In the NCAA Championships, the Men finished 11th, and the Women finished 13th, marking the first time both teams finished in the Top-15 since 2003.

The NC State Women’s Soccer Team finished ranked in the Top-25 for the third consecutive season (first time since 1990-92), landing at #21 in the TopDrawerSoccer Poll, and a record best 18th in the RPI rankings. The Wolfpack advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third straight year (first time since 1994-96), and to the Sweet 16 for the 2nd time in 3 seasons.

The Wolfpack Men’s Soccer Team finished at #24 in the TopDrawerSoccer Top-25 Poll, advanced to the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back seasons for the 1st time since 1991-92, and won their first game in the tourney since 1994.

NC State finished 7th in the Fall Standings of last year’s Directors’ Cup, which was a school best.

(PhotoCred: GoPack)

Continue Reading

NC State Football

Appalachian State Hires NC State Offensive Coordinator Eliah Drinkwitz as Head Coach



NC State already reportedly lost their Offensive Line Coach Dwayne Ledford to Louisville.

Add Offensive Coordinator Eliah Drinkwitz to the list of coaches out the door.

“My family and I are excited to embrace and build upon the proud tradition of Appalachian State Football,” Drinkwitz said. “I am thankful to the Board of Trustees, Chancellor Everts, Doug Gillin and the entire App Nation for the opportunity to be the head coach at this great university. This is a special time for App Nation, and we will work tirelessly to uphold the championship tradition.” (Link)

NC State’s Total Offense Rank Under Drinkwitz

2018: 28th
2017: 25th
2016: 63rd

NC State’s Points Per Game Rank Under Drinkwitz

2018: 35th
2017: 40th
2016: 75th

NC State’s Passing Yards Per Game Rank Under Drinkwitz

2018: 9th
2017: 29th
2016: 38th

NC State’s Rushing Yards Per Game Rank Under Drinkwitz

2018: 107th
2017: 50th
2016: 86th

We will have to wait and see whether or not Doeren decides to fill this vacancy internally, or bring someone in from the outside.

Continue Reading

NC State Football

C Garrett Bradbury is NC State’s 8th Consensus 1st Team All-American



NC State Redshirt Graduate Senior Center Garrett Bradbury is now officially the 8th player in school history to be considered a Consensus 1st Team All-American.

If a player earns 1st Team All-American honors from 3 of the 5 organizations, the NCAA recognizes them as CONSENSUS 1st Team All-Americans: AP (Associated Press), Sporting News, AFCA (American Football Coaches Association), FWAA (Football Writers Association of America) and Walter Camp.

Bradbury earned 1st Team honors from all 5.

In fact, when a player earns 1st Team honors from all 5 of the above organizations, they are considered UNANIMOUS 1st Team All-Americans.

Bradbury is a UNANIMOUS 1st Team All-American.

NC State Consensus 1st Team All-Americans
2018: Center Garrett Bradbury
2017: Defensive End Bradley Chubb
1998: Wide Receiver Torry Holt
1996: Place Kicker Marc Primanti
1979: Center Jim Ritcher
1978: Running Back Ted Brown
1973: Offensive Guard Bill Yoest
1967: Defensive Tackle Dennis Byrd

Continue Reading

NC State Football

NC State Lands 5 on ESPN’s 2018 All-ACC Team



ESPN has revealed their 2018 All-ACC Football Team, and 5 NC State players were represented.


QB: Ryan Finley, NC State
His 24 touchdown passes tied for the league lead and his 151.9 passer rating ranked second, but his 3,789 passing yards was the most through 12 games by an ACC quarterback since Matt Ryan in 2007.
RB: Travis Etienne, Clemson
RB: AJ Dillon, Boston College
WR: Kelvin Harmon, NC State
Harmon finished with more than 1,000 yards receiving for the second consecutive season — one of just seven ACC receivers to do that in the past decade.
WR: Tee Higgins, Clemson
WR: Greg Dortch, Wake Forest
OT: Mitch Hyatt, Clemson
OG: Chris Lindstrom, Boston College
C: Garrett Bradbury, NC State
In three years, Bradbury went from converted tight end to the Rimington Trophy winner as the nation’s top center.
OG: Terronne Prescod, NC State
In 636 snaps, Prescod had 32 knockdowns and didn’t allow a sack for one of the best passing offenses in the country.
OT: Stefano Millin, Pitt


DE: Clelin Ferrell, Clemson
DT: Christian Wilkins, Clemson
DT: Gerald Willis III, Miami
DE: Brian Burns, Florida State
LB: Tre Lamar, Clemson
LB: Shaq Quarterman, Miami
LB: Germaine Pratt, NC State
Pratt emerged to have a sensational senior season, ranking second in the league with 9.45 tackles per game.
CB: Hamp Cheevers, Boston College
S: Jaquan Johnson, Miami
S: Andre Cisco, Syracuse
CB: Bryce Hall, Virginia

Special Teams

K: Andre Szmyt, Syracuse
P: Pressley Harvin III, Georgia Tech
RS: Michael Walker, Boston College (ESPN)

Continue Reading